The Farm by Joanne Ramos

book spine on side of sofa, the farm by joanne ramos

a nutshell: an eerie depiction of hypercapitalism & bodily colonisation, this novel follows a Filipina immigrant to the US who commits to being a ‘Host’ at Golden Oaks – a venture sort of like the Uber of pregnancies, where immigrants are paid to get a foetus from A (insemination) to B (birth) for the convenience of rich clients

a line: “But how many Good, Obedient Anyones truly make it in the world?”

an image: Ramos often conjures up an acutely oppressive atmosphere in her portrayal of life at the ‘Farm’, particularly in one scene where she describes humble bloated bodies, a crushing sky above, and the possibility of unnoticed shards of glass below (after a bottle is smashed)

a thought: this book was suggested by Cara Teo Ong, aka thebookingchild, who got in touch with the idea of a ‘buddy read’; after we had both read the novel, we shared our thoughts – take a look at Cara’s recap of our conversation here & read her own review here!

a fact: yesterday I stumbled across a news article (through my work in women’s rights) about 32 Cambodian women who received suspended jail terms for carrying the babies of Chinese clients – this is no ‘dystopia’, this is now

want to read The Farm? visit here

A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman

a nutshell: set in a politically volatile Sri Lanka, this passionate debut follows two women struggling for independence against a backdrop of class & prejudice

a line: “And I am grateful, still, despite all of it, that I had one year in which I got to be a woman. Not a daughter, not a wife, not a mother”

an image: the response and spiralling of events when Latha, a servant girl, asks for a pair of sandals from her employer is heart-breaking

a thought: from being fairly disengaged at the beginning, the characters’ hazy fates & connections soon took hold of me – this is a slow burner, but worth it by the end

a fact: the author holds a graduate degree in labour studies, researching female migrant labor in Kuwait, UAE & Saudi Arabia – unpaid child labour is a major theme throughout this novel

want to read A Disobedient Girl? visit here